Liverpool drop more points at Everton in thrilling Merseyside derby

Ad Blocker Detected

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Everton’s Jordan Pickford made several key saves on a frustrating afternoon for Liverpool. John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

LIVERPOOL — Everton and Liverpool played out a goalless draw at Goodison Park in a Premier League Merseyside derby that was a lot more entertaining than the scoreline would suggest. Both teams hit the post on more than one occasion and each goalkeeper was called upon to make multiple saves. Everton thought they had scored the opening goal midway through the second half, but VAR ruled that Conor Coady was offside when he tapped in from close range.

– Match report: Liverpool held at Everton | Premier League table | Upcoming fixtures

Here is our reaction to Saturday’s thrilling Mersyside derby at Goodison Park.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers

Rapid Reaction

1. Liverpool drop more points in thrilling Merseyside derby

Liverpool’s sluggish start to the season continued with a 0-0 Merseyside derby draw against Everton at Goodison Park, with a VAR offside decision denying Frank Lampard’s team a first home win against their neighbours since 2010.

Coady looked to have opened the scoring for Everton on 69 minutes when he tapped in at the far post to divert Neal Maupay’s cross into the net, but after a lengthy VAR review, the on-loan Wolves defender saw his goal ruled out.

Although a defeat would have been harsh on Liverpool, who hit the woodwork three times, Everton gave their best derby performance at Goodison for a number of years and aside from Coady’s disallowed goal also hit the woodwork through midfielder Tom Davies and saw Maupay denied by a goal by a brilliant Alisson save.

The draw left Everton still searching for their first win of the season and Liverpool also remain without a victory away from home this term. But the bigger significance for Liverpool is the number of points they have dropped in six games this season. Jurgen Klopp’s team have now dropped as many points as they won — nine — and they ended this game four points behind champions Manchester City, who have played one game fewer.

It could have been worse Liverpool, though, had VAR reviewed a bad challenge by Virgil van Dijk on Amadou Onana late in the game. Had Van Dijk’s foul been assessed by VAR, the Liverpool defender could have been dismissed for serious foul play, but he survived the incident to remain on the pitch.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)

2. Nunez holds his nerve on frustrating return

Darwin Nunez could have picked a better game to return from a three-match suspension that a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park, but Liverpool’s record signing survived the hostile environment without being lulled into another disciplinary issue. The Uruguay international, suspended after being sent off for violent conduct against Crystal Palace last month, had to cope with the close attentions of defenders James Tarkowski and Coady as well as a passionate home crowd that was ready to goad the former Benfica striker at every opportunity.

But Nunez held his nerve and showed flashes of why Liverpool expect him to be the focal point of their attack for years to come. He almost scored with a dipping volley late in the first-half, only to see keeper Jordan Pickford brilliantly tip his shot onto the crossbar. Pickford denied Nunez again early in the second-half when the Everton No. 1 kept out a well-struck half-volley by the Liverpool forward.

Having been forced to sit out three games so soon after his arrival, Nunez may have felt he had to rebuild bridges with his teammates and the club’s fans against Everton. But while he couldn’t find a goal to repay them for his Palace red card, Nunez showed plenty of other qualities and it is clear that he will be a positive addition to Klopp’s squad at Anfield.

Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez returned after serving a three-match suspension. OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

3. Everton finally getting recruitment right

Everton’s poor record when it comes to transfers in recent seasons has been one of the major factors in the club’s failure to deliver on the pitch, but their performance against Liverpool showed that this summer’s recruitment have finally made a positive impact on the team.

Largely because of the financial implications of seeing major backer Alisher Usmanov sanctioned by the UK government earlier this year due to links with Vladimir Putin, Everton have had to go back to basics in the transfer market by searching for bargains and loan signings.

Free transfer James Tarkowski and on-loan Coady are two examples of the smart acquisitions, with the two England internationals forming a reliable partnership at centre-half. Tarkowski and Coady had to keep Nunez and Mohamed Salah quiet, but they managed it well, even when Roberto Firmino was added to Liverpool’s front line in the second-half.

Idrissa Gueye, signed from Paris Saint-Germain this week, has also proven himself at Everton during a previous spell at the club and Maupay enjoyed a lively debut following his arrival from Brighton. Onana, a £33 million signing from Lille, has been the big outlay this summer and the Belgium midfielder dominated the midfield against Liverpool.

Everton are still winless this season, but manager Frank Lampard has his team on the right track thanks to the summer recruitment

Player ratings

Everton: Pickford 9; Patterson 8, Tarkowski 8, Coady 8, Mykolenko 7; Onana 7, Davies 6, Iwobi 6, Gordon 8, Maupay 7, Gray 6.

Subs: Gueye 7, McNeil 6

Liverpool: Alisson 8; Alexander-Arnold 5, Gomez 6, Van Dijk 6, Tsimikas 6; Fabinho 6, Elliott 7, Carvalho 6; Salah 7, Nunez 7, Diaz 6.

Subs: Firmino 7, Robertson 6, Milner 6, Jota 6, Matip 6.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Jordan Pickford

The Everton goalkeeper made a series of top-class saves, from Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino in particular, to keep his team in the game. Pickford can be erratic at times, but this was one of those days when he performed like England’s best goalkeeper.

WORST: Trent Alexander-Arnold

The Liverpool right-back was substituted for the second successive game by Jurgen Klopp and he failed to even last an hour against Everton. Defensive shortcomings and a failure to add his usual quality going forward led to his early withdrawal.